"I decided to be a dentist when I was a junior in high school. I also wanted to be an entrepreneur. So, I shadowed dentists and just kind of fell in love with the artistic component and the fact that the dentists were helping people and were business owners," said Kwane Watson.
After 19 years in the industry, Watson sold his two dental practices and launched Kare Mobile Inc. The mobile dentistry and tech company partners with providers to offer concierge dental services and improve access to care in underserved communities.
"There are only 200,000 dentists in the country, and only 60,000 or so accept Medicaid insurance. There are 63 million people that live in areas considered dental deserts," said the 48-year-old founder and CEO. "And 25 percent of individuals don't go to the dentist because they don't have transportation. We're trying to eliminate some of those barriers."
Furthering Kare Mobile's mission is its collaboration with the Ford Motor Company Fund. Motor City Kares, a minority entrepreneurship public health initiative that includes Delta Dental and Lightship Foundation, will provide reliable and consistent dental care in Detroit's Mexicantown and Corktown neighborhoods.
"If it weren't for the gracious investment by Ford, we wouldn't be able to provide access to those communities," Watson said. "We're building out two Ford Transits right now for My Community Dental Centers, a nonprofit headed by Dr. Deborah Brown that provides services to the underinsured, and to Deanna Alexander, who has more than 20 years of experience as a dental hygienist."